The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Finally, the political moment for climate action has arrived

(Tom Toles) (Tom Toles)
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While some people who always told us it was too soon to act on climate are no doubt all too happy to now tell us it is too late, the moment of action is at last here.

While not too late, it is certainly late. We wasted a good three decades, an entire generation (boomers, take your bow here) avoiding, evading, denying and delaying getting to work on what absolutely needed to be done. And our pigheaded stupidity on this issue and the consequent time-wasting have made the problem vastly more difficult. But that was then.

Now, even as the Greenland ice sheet is melting at a faster rate, the awareness and the will needed to act are also accelerating. Chuck Schumer in the Senate has finally made the obvious connection between infrastructure and climate action. Every argument you can make about the necessity of building and maintaining a national infrastructure as an investment in the nation’s future applies doubly to climate action. Protection of coastal cities, ports and populations alone make this action essential. In the House, wunderkind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has come to town and is bringing a clarity, focus and higher profile to this issue that simply wasn’t here.

It’s here now. And if a movement requires an enemy, other than of course a ruined planetary ecology, there he is in the Oval Office, scribbling his jagged signature on one retrograde piece of anti-environmental garbage after another. If you dislike Trump for other reasons, fine, but the same ignorance, recklessness and dirty dealing you already dislike him for is manifest also in the way he is trashing the planet for short-term profits and convenience.

All we need now is to do now is recognize that, at last, threat and opportunity are converging. Seize the moment, seize the day. It might quite literally be now or never.

Because one tomorrow it is going to be: “Grandma and grandpa, what did YOU do in the war to save the world?”

More cartoons and blog posts by Tom Toles:

Carbon output was such a hard problem that the world gave up and died

A Green New Deal is the infrastructure plan we need to be thinking about

Trump’s climate policy doesn’t pass the smell test

The good news is we are only burning up a little bit of our planet at a time